Taunting post leads to arrests in Rebecca Sedwick bullying death - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Taunting post leads to arrests in Rebecca Sedwick bullying death

Posted: Updated:
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:54:43 GMT
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:45:11 GMT
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:00:17 GMT
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>

WINTER HAVEN,FLA (CNN) -- It all started with a boy.

The intense bullying that led 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick to jump to her death last month stemmed from a dispute between her and a former classmate over a boy they had both dated, police said Tuesday.

And it didn't even end with Rebecca's September 9 death, said Grady Judd, sheriff of Polk County, Florida.

Authorities arrested two girls, including the 14-year-old girl alleged to have been Rebecca's chief tormenter, on Monday after the girl posted a taunting message on the Internet about what had happened.

"Yes IK I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF," the Facebook post read, according to CNN affiliate WFTV. Judd said the initials meant "I don't give a (expletive)."

Parents, beware of bullying on sites you've never seen

Girl jumps off building after bullying

Judd said the 14-year-old girl's family claimed her account had been compromised, but he said investigators don't believe that to be true.

After the girl's family refused to bring her in for questioning, Judd sent detectives to arrest her and a 12-year-old friend at their homes. The girls, whom CNN are not naming, are charged with aggravated stalking. They were booked Monday and the 12-year-old was released to her parents, Judd said. The 14-year-old remains detained.

"She forced this arrest today," Judd said of the 14-year-old's decision to post the message Saturday.

According to Judd, the girl was upset that Rebecca had once dated her current boyfriend and began bullying and harassing her more than a year ago when they were both students at a Florida middle school.

In addition to sending harassing messages over the Internet, the girl physically attacked Rebecca at least once, Judd said. She also recruited the girl's former best friend -- the 12-year-old charged Monday -- to bully her, Judd said.

Are we too quick to cry 'bully'?

Among the online messages that drove Rebecca to jump to her death from the top of an abandoned concrete plant were, "You should die" and "why don't you go kill yourself," according to Judd.

The night before Rebecca killed herself, authorities say she messaged a boy she had befriended online, writing, "I'm jumping. I can't take it anymore."

Judd, clearly upset over the incident, expressed frustration that neither girl's parents were willing to bring them in for questioning. He said he was astonished to find out that the 14-year-old in the case was still being allowed to post to the Internet after what had happened.

He said he would charge the child's parents if he could, but said investigators were aware of no "obvious charges" against them.

"I'm aggravated that the parents aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing," he said.

While bullying Rebecca was not in itself against the law, Judd said, the girls' actions harassing her in school and online formed the basis for the stalking charge. He did not expect any other charges would be filed.

No court date has yet been set for the girls, who Judd said will likely not see any time in juvenile detention because they have no previous criminal records and the charge is a class 3 felony, one step up from a misdemeanor under Florida law.

Had Rebecca been 17 or older, he said, authorities could have filed nothing more than misdemeanor charges.

He implored parents to take more responsibility for the actions of their children online.

"We've lost sleep over that child dying needlessly and we want to see things change," he said. "We want to never, ever, ever investigate a case like that again."

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    House GOP cancels vote on immigration bill

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:46:25 GMT
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
    Washington (CNN) -- On the last day before summer recess, dysfunction reigned in Congress.House Republicans canceled a vote on their $659 million emergency response to the border influx from Central America overwhelming immigration resources, unable to agree among themselves about what to do.More >>
  • New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    New Summerfield family awaits word if body found belongs to missing loved one

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:22:54 GMT
    Missing person Javier JimenezMissing person Javier Jimenez
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
    NEW SUMMERFIELD -- Jessica Jimenez is consoled by family members after learning police have found a body just days after her father was reported missing. Javier Jimenez, 44, was last seen leaving his home in New Summerfield on the morning of July 23. More >>
  • Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Nine Cases of Chikungunya Virus in Texas

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:58:47 GMT
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
    AUSTIN (KYTX)- Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed nine Texas cases of Chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.